How to supervise safe work – 9 key requirements

  • 9 requirements for training your supervisorsEffective supervision is essential to ensure that you create and maintain a safe workplace.

    Supervision does not mean keeping constant surveillance of your workers’ activities. It means giving workers general direction, and coordinating and overseeing their work.

    Effective supervision involves:

  • When are you required to supervise workers?
  • having a recognised chain of command and reporting system, e.g. a worker reports to their supervisor who reports to their manager;
  • giving workers appropriate instruction;
  • conducting regular inspections of the worksite; and
  • giving prompt directions when safe operating procedures are not being followed.When is supervision required?

    Supervision is necessary any time unsafe work is performed, i.e. work that is hazardous or carries a degree of risk.

    The following types of work require greater levels of supervision:

  • high-risk work, e.g. working with hazardous chemicals;
  • work involving new plant or equipment;
  • any activity that requires interaction between many different workers;
  • work conducted in remote or isolated locations; and
  • any type of work where workers are likely to become fatigued, e.g. night shifts.Are your supervisors appropriately trained?

    To appropriately supervise workers, supervisors must be adequately trained and have a thorough understanding of their responsibilities.

    Ensure that your supervisors are trained in:

  • their role and responsibilities as a supervisor;
  • how to conduct a risk assessment;
  • how to conduct an audit;
  • requirements under health and safety legislation;
  • hazard inspection and identification;
  • worker consultation;
  • how to motivate workers;
  • investigating incidents; and
  • requirements related to specific hazards identified in your workplace, e.g. manual handling, chemical safety and working at heights.You are responsible for ensuring that your workers are adequately supervised. This may involve ‘supervising the supervisor’ to some extent to ensure they are carrying out their functions properly.

    I missed a post last week so hopefully this makes up for that. Any other tips that a relevant to this please feel free to comment.